John J. Kennelly

John J. Kennelly
(802) 775-7141 x216


I was raised with my five brothers and two sisters in Emerson, New Jersey, a small town in Bergen County. I graduated from Paramus Catholic High School in 1972, and attended Davidson College and later Ramapo College, where I graduated with a degree in economics in 1977. I attended Rutgers School of Law in Newark, at night while working first as a teamster and later as a law clerk in the Hackensack, New Jersey firm of Gladstone and Hart.

Legal Experience

I graduated from Rutgers in 1981, passed the bar exam and joined Gladstone and Hart as an associate that year. I became a partner at Gladstone and Hart in 1985. I was admitted to practice in Vermont in 1987 and began working with Carroll, George & Pratt, predecessor to this firm, as an associate. In 1989, I became a partner. My experience in the practice has been varied and extensive. I have tried criminal and civil cases to juries and judges in state and federal courts.  I have also briefed and argued appeals in state and federal courts. Decisions in many of my cases are reported and are cataloged under the practice areas headings.  I have represented clients in large complex business transactions including mergers and recapitalizations. I have been appointed a Chapter 11 Trustee in the Vermont Bankruptcy Court and an Administrator or Special Administrator in a number of Probate cases. I have also acted as mediator in about 100 cases, as an arbitrator in numerous cases and a commissioner in a Partition case. My practice is primarily focused on commercial litigation, the representation of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, and representing parties in Probate litigation.


In 1987, my wife (also a lawyer) and I decided to relocate to Vermont and start a family. We live in Mendon, Vermont, where we raised our three children.

Community Involvement

I have served as the  Chair of the Mendon Zoning Board of Adjustment since 1996.



Vermont Fellow – American Bar Foundation


Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights and Commercial Litigation (since 2015)



John J. Kennelly

Rated by Super Lawyers

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“AV®” (Preeminent/Very High Ethical Standards) Martindale-Hubbell peer-review and judicial rated™.





Ramapo College of New Jersey (Mahwah, NJ)
B.A., Economics, 1977


Rutgers School of Law – Newark (Newark, NJ)
J.D., 1981



Rutland County Bar Association


Vermont Bar Association
Chair, Practice and Procedure Committee (1991-1997)
Participated in the planning and presentation of numerous seminars on Vermont practice.
Chair, Bankruptcy Law Committee (2000-2005)
Participated in committee’s annual CLE offerings for the past decade.


Member of the Board of the Joan Loring Wing Inn of Court of the American Inns of Court since 2009
President (2013-2014).


Member of the American Bankruptcy Institute.



Rutland County Bar Association Annual Meeting, “Winning Cases Through Motion Practice Under Civil Rules 12 and 56”, 11/2/18